Missouri Western State University President Dr.James Scanlon today announced he has accepted the resignation of Mark Linder as Director of Athletics.

Linder has accepted a position as Director of Athletics at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Ala. "Mark has been a valuable member of the Western family and will be missed very much," Dr. Scanlon said. "He has emphasized both academic and athletic success."

Linder has been at Missouri Western since 1999. The mission of Western athletics is "Graduating Champions." To Linder, that means "winning with honor," achieving success both athletically and academically. Since January, 2006, seven Western teams have qualified for NCAA National Championship Tournaments, including first-ever appearances for the football and baseball teams, while the graduation rate for student-athletes has gone up 62% in the last six years. Those are not one-man accomplishments, Linder said. "The whole athletic department staff has earned the credit," he said.

The search for the next Director of Athletics will begin immediately.

Dan Nicoson, Vice President for University Advancement, will chair the search committee. Dr. Scanlon will serve as interim director during the search.

Download/Listen: Missouri Western State University President Dr.James Scanlon (2 min MP3)